Thank you Kenneth J. Cooper for your article, “A bridge too far” (Bay State Banner, Aug. 5, 2010). Having lived in Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury and Milton, I understand and still see that it’s not the path that needs to be built, nor budgets explored. It is the mentality of the residents of Milton and other places filled with beautiful neighborhoods of closed-minded people. I have been stopped three times by Milton police this year. One time I was walking on Elliot Street coming from work in the afternoon. The officer said his reason for stopping me was “because he didn’t recognize me.”
At the time, I was wearing a dress and sandals — not my “ruff” cleaning clothes. Racial profiling doesn’t just happen to men.
The other two? A friend of mine was driving in the beautiful area of Indian Springs Road looking for someone’s house in the area, and the police followed us back toward Mattapan. The third time my friend was stopped, pulled over and escorted back to my house, where I was then questioned. He did not leave until he was able to confirm who we both were and where we traveled from. He stated that someone called in from the Indian Springs area and said they saw two people in a suspicious vehicle.
We were lost and I encouraged my friend to stop and ask for directions. As long as there are Africans and Europeans in this world, I believe we will continue to have problems such as this and the well-publicized arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates.
Instead of relaxing now when I walk or drive through Milton, I become tense. It is unfortunate. I carry identification at all times. Who is to say it won’t happen again? A bridge? A path?
Try offering classes on race and culture to the town of Milton, then work on the bridges and paths.